My new book, with its rather lovely cover, is out now. You can buy it direct from me, signed, for a tenner including p&p by clicking here (for non-UK sales, see Shop):
Here’s the official blurb:
Overpaid players. Sunday lunchtime kick-offs. Absurd ticket prices. Non-black boots. Football’s menu of ills is long. Where has the joy gone? Why do we bother? Saturday, 3pm offers a glorious antidote. It is here to remind you that football can still sing to your heart.
Warm, heartfelt and witty, here are fifty short essays of prose poetry dedicated to what is good in the game. These are not wallowing nostalgia; they are things that remain sweet and right: seeing a ground from the train, brackets on vidiprinters, ball hitting bar, Jimmy Armfield’s voice, listening to the results in a traffic jam, football towns and autograph-hunters. This is fan culture at its finest, words to transport you somewhere else and identify with, words to hide away in a pub and luxuriate in.
Saturday, 3pm is a book of love letters to football and a clarion call, helping us find the romance in the game all over again.
Each is a precision-tooled delight… even apparently obvious subjects are described with such lyricism that the everyday is routinely transformed into the sublime… here is a book that contains nothing but pure, unadulterated joy.
When Saturday Comes magazine
Delightfully written…countless little gems of recognition and satisfaction, many of them very funny… a lovely little thing.
The Daily Telegraph
A little bagful of stardust…each chapter is a little paean of praise, almost poetic at times, waxing lyrical as evidence of what makes the heart sing. A lovely package of observation and eulogy…it deserves to be widely read.
Many of the lyrical sweet nothings Gray whispers in your ear still survive…It might be small enough in size to slip into a stocking, but there’s nothing lightweight about a book that wears such a large heart on its sleeve(s).
Scotland on Sunday, a 2016 Football Book of the Year
A wonderful book. Arguably the football book of 2016.
Off the Ball, BBC Scotland
A warm, smiling celebration of football’s quirks, and of ours. Never mind how good a writer Daniel Gray is: what an eye he’s got. You’ll never watch a game again without liking some daft little moment and wishing you could share it with him.
Michael Grant, The Times
A wonderful, wistful read.
Oliver Kay, The Times
A sonnet to football, whimsical and deeply rewarding.
Stuart Roy Clarke, Homes of Football
A real midget gem of a book that fits perfectly into a jacket pocket for reading on the way to the match, or indeed during it if you’re an England fan.
Harry Pearson, author The Far Corner
A superb book…thoughtful, moving, lyrical, joyful.
Ian McMillan, poet, writer and BBC radio presenter
Gray beautifully articulates the pleasure offered by such pursuits as jeering passes that go out of play, listening to the results in the car, and spying a ground from the train window…his prose is exquisite…a physically slim but spiritually hefty treat.
Pitch & Page, Books of the Year 2016
An elegiac, poetic tribute to what there is to love about the game…This wonderfully bijou volume serves as a description of nothing less than a way of life.
Lovingly crafted prose-poetry…a wonderful antidote to the money-sodden excesses of the modern game.
Late Tackle magazine
I love this book, I had enormous fun reading it…a great book.
Matt Williams, Simon Mayo Drivetime show, BBC Radio 2
Really nicely written. A brilliant book. Romantic, very recognisable things.
James Brown, TalkSport
The author has compiled some wonderful things about our national game…I love this book. Wonderful. A delightful book.
A loveletter to nice things about football…fifty perfect little essays. A beautiful book.
I commend this book. Two pages are worth ten cliché-ridden football books. It evokes the nodal points of football memory.
Archie McPherson, BBC Scotland
Full of eternal delight. I loved it to pieces. Hymns that evoke the essence of the game. A fantastic book.
The Anfield Wrap